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Dana Stebbins, the oldest native voter of Clinton, who also exhibits to-day his certificate of membership in the first Oneida County Agricultural Society, signed by Gen. Garret G. Lansing, of Oriskany, and Theodore Sill, of Whitestown.
Forty-two years ago this society held its first fair at Whitesboro. Its members wore beads of wheat in their button-holes as badges. There Col. B. P. Johnson, now the efficient, courteous and indefatigable secretary of our State Agricultural Society, sported his wheat badge with the other members; and we may guess that he there felt his first kindling of enthusiasm in a cause which be has labored to promote so long and so successfully, that his name and praise are now permanently linked with our best crops, our best live stock, the best labor-saving machines in our fields and barns, and our best agricultural books.
From an interesting letter written by Mr. Gaius Butler, an intelligent farmer and surveyor of Kirkland, I learn that: “The original Oneida County Agricultural Society was organized in or about the year 1821. As it was a novelty in this region, it excited considerable interest, and a fair competition for the premiums. The ground selected for the fair was between the village of Whitesboro and the Oneida Institute. Manufactured articles were exhibited in the Court House. A premium was offered for fat oxen, and a specimen exhibited not often exceeded at the present day. A mammoth porker, from Waterville, weighing over 900 lbs., was on exhibition. Major Rice was the presiding genius of the day. He wore a cocked hat, and a sort of continental coat, and carried for his sceptre a corn stalk two or three feet long, and as many inches thick. Of course,
his word was law. He kept a sharp eye on the dice tables, so common then at public gatherings, and did not hesitate to handle the owners thereof without mittens.
It is not recollected that any of the labor-saving machines of the present day were then on exhibition. The fair was held two days. Long tables were set in the spacious and beautiful enclosure in front of the mansion of the late Judge Platt, afterwards owned and oceupied by the late S. Newton Dexter. Here members of the society and their guests dined at the close of the first day. The second day closed with an address and the declaring of premiums.
The premiums at the first fair were paid chiefly, if not wholly, in silver pitchers, tumblers, and the like. A change was made the second ycar to cold, hard dollars—either Mexican or American.
"I well remember," Says Mr. Butler, “the pleasure I felt in being awarded half a dozen of them for the second best breeding mare; another Butler, of Sauquoit, having taken eight of them as the first premium.
“The second fair was held on the public square, fronting the Court House. The major was on hand, as before, and was just the man for director. Hon. Henry R. Storrs delivered the address from the steps of the Court House. Though he was doubtless more at home in Congressional debates, bis offhand remarks were well received and worth remembering."
In our peaceful enjoyment of this harvest home holiday; in our good natured rivalry with fruits and flowers from the garden; with live stock
from the farm, and work of cunning fingers from the parlor and the shop, we ought not to forget that our kinsmen and neighbors and friends, some of whom were with us a year ago, are now exposed to quick, unnatural death on distant fields of heroic strife. Yet how easy to lose thought of the war at a place like this, where all nature about us is so eloquent of peace, so suggestive of good will among men! In all these broad, green fields you hear no sound of angrier strife than the noon-day ticking of emulous crickets and katydids. In all these brilliant woods you see no shallow, half-covered graves. There is no smell of human slaughter, no hint of mourning and lamentation. October, as if it were the Joseph of months, is arrayed in its coat of many colors. The trees are gaily robed, as for a carnival.
The gentian's sweet and quiet cyo
Looks thro’ its fringes to the sky. The birds have sung their cheerful good-byes, unconscious that their flight to warmer latitudes would be over armies that are deciding the sublimest, bloodiest issue in the history of our race. Throughout those golden, misty, pensive days of autumn, when the chill of sudden sunsets tells as the aged year is soon to die; while we are filling our barns and cellars with stores for the winter, let us be thankful to God that we are permitted to uphold our country's flag, and our Union's integrity, without sacrificing the prosperities of the farm and the workshop. Let us be devoutly thankful that with us the sanctities of the church and the fireside are not touched by the blight of war; that our gardens and farms and cemeteries are not trampled by the heels of rapine. The festival we keep to-day may remind us of a promised era, when swords shall be beaten into plowshares, and spears into pruning-hooks. In the late flowers of the garden, happy insects are murmuring idyls of peace. The flowers themselves are a prophecy of peace. Without shrinking from the duties and self-denials of a true patriotism, let us ask God to fulfil the prophecy, and to send us the Pracc.
O flowers! the soul that faints or grieves
Are hidden in your healing leaves.
The blood-red trouble of the dawn.
All guilt and wrong shall fade away. At the close of Professor North's address, the society voted their thanks, and requested a copy for publication.
LEVI BLAKESLEE, President. T. B. MINER, Secretary.
NOXIOUS AND OTHER INSECTS
STATE OF NEW YORK.
BY ASA FITCH M. D.,
ENTOMOLOGIST or THE NEW YORK STATE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY.
[Copyright secured to the Author.]
INSECTS INFESTING GARDENS.
9. NORTHERN TOBACCO-WORM, Potato-WORM, TOMATO-WORM, Sphinx quinquemac
ulata, Haworth. (Lepidoptera. Sphingidæ.) Plate 4, fig. 1. Eating the leaves of potatos, tomatos, and tobacco, in July and August, a large green worm the size of one's finger, with a black horn at the end of its back and along each side a row of seven white or pale yellow marks resembling the letter with its pointed end forward; lying underground in its pupa state during the winter and spring and producing a large grad moth, four and a half inches wide across its extended wings, having a row of five yellow spots along each side of its body and two narrow black zigzag bands across the middle of its bind wings.
Hon. William Kelly, in a letter enclosing to me one of the millers which had been obtained from the tobacco-worm by Charles L. Roberts, Esq., of Tariffville, Ct., well remarks that the culture of tobacco has become so important an interest now at the North, that any information in regard to its insect enemies will be read with interest. Mr. Roberts alludes to this tobacco-worm as being quite prevalent in his vicinity. And the pains which some other correspondents and friends engaged in the culture of tobacco have taken to transmit specimens of the worm or the miller to me is an evidence of the importance they attach to this insect. And it may well be regarded as an important enemy; for this tobacco-worm makes the growing of tobacco twice as laborious a task as it would be if we had no such insect in our country.
This is currently supposed to be a new insect here at the North, unlike anything which we previously had, and that its presence here is due to the extensive growing of tobacco which has recently been commenced. It, however, is the same worm which, from time immemorial, we have been accustomed to meet with in midsummer upon our potato vines, and